What Causes Itchy Testicles and How to Stop It
Sex and gender exist on a spectrum. This article uses the terms “female” and “male” or both to refer to the sex assigned at birth.
According to a 2022 study, jock itch is usually a discolored rash, but its color and symptoms can vary depending on the fungus and the color of the underlying skin.
Some yeast infections can be dry and flakey. Others can be moist and itchy.
Treatments include topical and oral medications. Topical examples include allylamines such as terbinafine and azoles such as clotrimazole. Oral preparations include terbinafine and itraconazole.
Intertrigo is an inflammation of the skin folds, especially in warm areas. Moisture, bacteria, and fungus can affect the folds, creating bright red patches. Warm climates can also be a factor.
To stay cool and reduce warm temperatures in the folds, options include loose clothing, staying in rooms with air conditioning, and applying a paste of aluminum acetate, zinc oxide, and petrolatum.
Oral treatments include fluconazole.
Chafing is irritation of the skin. It’s usually a result of rubbing against skin or clothing. An example of chafing is runners’ thighs. During running, especially in hot weather, the thighs rub together, causing friction, and leading to chafing.
Eliminating the constant friction can resolve chafing. Also, applying petroleum jelly, such as Vaseline, on the skin, wearing dry loose clothing, and avoiding activities that cause chafing can help.
Contact dermatitis occurs when a chemical irritates the skin or modifies proteins in the skin, resulting in an immune response.
There are many forms of contact dermatitis, and treatment may depend on the type, area, and severity. In genital areas, treatments include antihistamines.
People with contact dermatitis should avoid soaps, perfumes, dyes, essential oils, and friction.
Crabs or pubic lice cause tiny itchy bites. Lice can be found anywhere there is hair.
Lice can also be spread from one person to another during sexual activity.
Genital warts are a sexually transmitted infection (STI) resulting from human papillomavirus (HPV). The NLM states that skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity can spread the STI from one person to another.
Genital warts are identifiable by size, usually around 5 millimeters or less, and skin-like or darker color. They can cause redness, itchiness, and discomfort. They may also bleed and can be painless.
There is currently no cure for the underlying HPV. However, treatments for genital warts include topical solutions, such as podophyllotoxin and isotretinoin, and surgical removal.
Cryotherapy, which is liquid nitrogen freezing, is another treatment option.
There are two types of herpes: genital and oral. The CDC says oral herpes can also lead to the genital type during sexual activity.
Herpes can spread when there is contact with open sores, saliva, genital fluids, and skin in the oral or genital area of a partner with herpes.
It is identifiable from the sores and painful blisters that usually take a week or more to heal.
Trichomoniasis (trich) is an STI that usually has no symptoms. According to the CDC, those who do experience symptoms may feel mild irritation to severe inflammation 5–28 days after infection. Symptoms could take longer to appear.
Symptoms include a burning sensation after urinating or ejaculation and itching or irritation inside the penis.
Diagnosis of trich requires a physical examination. It is curable with an oral medication that is also safe during pregnancy.
Treatment regimens for males include metronidazole and tinidazole.
Gonorrhea is a common STI that can cause an infection in the genitals, rectum, and throat. It spreads during sexual activity.
- a burning sensation while urinating
- a green, yellow, or white discharge from the penis
- pain or swelling of the testicles
To treat scabies, you will need a prescription for a medication in the scabicides category.
Itchy testicles at night may result from one of the above causes.
Patch testing can be helpful to understand if the issue is true eczema, an iron deficiency, or contact dermatitis.
Treatment options include antihistamines and anti-itch emollients.
Prevention can depend on the actual cause of testicle itching. In general, you may want to consider:
- avoiding fragrance, essential oils, and harsh soaps
- moisturizing with products that contain petrolatum
- wearing dry loose clothing, especially around the genitals
- using protection when engaging in sexual activity
- taking STI tests with partners before engaging in sexual activity without a condom or other barrier method
Itchy testicles can be a result of many causes. See a doctor as soon as you experience the condition.
They can also prescribe medications or recommend OTC products to help relieve symptoms or cure the condition.
To treat itchy testicles, a doctor will need to diagnose a cause. Treatment may involve applying topical creams or ointments, wearing loose clothing, taking prescription medication, or receiving injections.
A doctor can determine the cause and recommend treatment.